Saturday 22 July 2017

Bastareaud gets France nod

Controversial centre Mathieu Bastareaud has been given his chance in the starting line-up for France's Six Nations opener against Scotland on Sunday.

The Stade Francais player caused a diplomatic stir when he claimed he had been attacked following a night out in Wellington on France's tour to New Zealand last summer when, in fact, he damaged his cheek after a drunken fall in his hotel room.

France Prime Minister Francois Fillon sent a written apology to New Zealand counterpart John Key over the incident, which was subject to a French Rugby Federation probe, resulting in a suspended three-month ban.

However, the 21-year-old has now been given the nod by coach Marc Lievremont for the trip to Murrayfield, at the expense of David Marty.

Francois Trinh-Duc has been handed the out-half role, although doubts remain over his participation following a shoulder injury. Benjamin Boyet will start if Trinh-Duc fail a fitness test.

France (v Scotland) -- C Poitrenaud; B Fall, M Bastareaud, Y Jauzion, A Rougerie; F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; T Domingo, W Servat, N Mas, L Nallet, P Pape, T Dusautoir, F Ouedraogo, I Harinordoquy. Reps: D Szarzewski, L Ducalcon, J Pierre, J Bonnaire, J Elissalde, D Marty, V Clerc, S Marconnet.

Irish Independent

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